The disruptive nature of eCommerce is undeniable. Today, more people are buying services and products online than from the local brick-and-motor retail stores because of the convenience eCommerce stores offer. But, the number of online stores that fail even before they celebrate their first anniversary is alarmingly increasing.
Why is it so?
Unlike the physical store that establishment and location plays a major role in attracting customers, online stores rely on products/services offered and most importantly – the customer experience. In fact, a study conducted by Oracle found that 74% of senior executives believe that better customer experience will turn your customer to be a local advocate of your brand.
If you want your online store that’s built on an eCommerce platform to have a loyal customer base, you have to invest in their experience.
How can your eCommerce Store Improve the Customer Experience?
- Make sure your team is adequately prepared – These are the people who make the face of your business. How your customers experience your employs determines whether they stay loyal to your brand or look elsewhere. As a result, you need to be highly obsessed about training with your team. That way, whoever interacts with your brand – whether offsite the website or on your website – won’t regret the experience. Train everybody. From the person handling social media marketing to the one managing the e-business.
- Go overboard and delight your customers – The online marketplace is quite crowded. For you to stand out, you need to go an extra mile in creative impressive customer experience. Let your customers know that you appreciate them. While customers don’t expect you to give them the same attention they get from a brick and motor store, give them a beautiful surprise. Here are some of the ideas you may exploit:
- Thank you notes – You may send them handwritten thank you notes along with the packages you send them.
- Send them extra goodies in packages that you ship to them – Well, you don’t have to break the bank to impress your customers here. What you send them need not be expensive. It’s just something extra – a token of appreciation – that they can find when they unbox your products.
- Reward your customers for sticking to your brand – Send your customers special rewards and loyalty offers via mail with the help of a customer loyalty program software. Your offers should have an expiry date. This drives them to buy the already discounted products from you again.
- Be a lot more creative with your receipts and order confirmation copy – These are some of the emails and dull documents that every customer expects to get. Don’t make them boring. You need to go out of your way and make them adorable. Make them smile as they open them.
- Set an FAQ page – It is this page that will save you, your customers (and even your employees) time and effort in the sales process.
- If your budget allows you, send free swag to select customers – No one hates travel mug or t-shirt. Besides, it acts as free advertising for your business.
- Position your brand as a trusted resource in the minds of the customer – Customers are never interested in your offers. They are always looking to solve their problems. Your brand should always strive to improve customer experience by creating a content hub full of value that relates to your ideal customers, their problems and the solutions (your products).
- Engage customers passionately on social media channels – Spend about 15-30 minutes every day interacting with your customers and followers on your social media sites. Make it your goal to respond to negative comments or concerns about your brand first because that’s what would-be customers would notice when they land on these pages. Take it as an opportunity to make the right first impression. That way, you will be going beyond, and start building trust with prospects the moment they get exposed to your brand.
- Create a rock-star web experience – Nowadays people are a lot more impatient. If your website is slow, they will divert to the ones that load faster. And that kills your eCommerce sales. To improve customer experience and as a result, drive more people to convert, you need to create an experience that keeps customers glued to your site across all devices and browsers. Besides, the increased number smartphones require an eCommerce store that is optimized for mobile devices. Another way of doing it is by making sure that the entire shopping experience is easy to complete. That means you’ll need to shorten the number of steps it takes to go from landing on the website for the first time all the way to order confirmation. That means also doing away with any fluffy copy that could potentially distract your would-be customers from purchasing your products.
Summing it up
It’s easier to set up an eCommerce store. But, the far you go with it – making a sale and retaining customers – depends on how your customers experience your brand. That is why as a brand you need to heavily invest in improving the aspects make customers enjoy doing business with you.